I am a published experimental physicist, mathematician and former college lecturer. I received my doctorate in physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where I performed research in the fields of optics, plasmonics, and nanoelectromechanical devices built from carbon nanotubes. After I graduated from UNC, I worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame where I took part in research efforts employing surface-enhanced spectroscopies to detect and understand metastasis in colon cancer cells.
I discovered my passion for teaching as a high school student when I began working locally as a private math and physics tutor. My ability to connect with my students and explain difficult concepts using multiple approaches helped me to become an effective and well-liked teaching assistant, a position I held throughout my undergraduate years at the University of Sydney and, later as a doctoral student at UNC. During my time at UNC, I was the recipient of the prestigious Future Faculty Fellowship Award through which I served as a teaching fellow in the Department of Physics. It was here, in a lecture hall filled with 200 students, where I learned to appreciate the incredible diversity of individual learning styles as well as the (often underestimated) importance of fostering a sense of confidence and self-esteem in each of my students. This realization was personal for me, as I will always remember my own experiences with academic struggle and the feelings of self-doubt that all too often accompany it. Knowing this, I strive to meet my students where they are at and my teaching style in based on compassion and confidence building. My best work is, in fact, done when the student realizes that I am coming from a place of shared experience rather than one of infallibility. This, coupled with an ability to “hone in” on different learning styles enables me to connect with students of all ages and backgrounds and and continues to shape the powerful, one-of-a-kind approach that makes me a highly effective and sought-after private instructor.
On a more personal note, I was born in Douglasville, Georgia – home to sweet tea, peach cobbler, humidity, and lot of friendly people. In addition to teaching science and math, I enjoy playing beach volleyball, trail running, and creative writing. I am an avid reader with a penchant for science fiction and fantasy genres and have been a die-hard Trekkie since I was six (when my grandfather first pressed his hand to mine to teach me how to make Spock’s signature gesture). Over the course of my education, I have lived in Australia, Russia and China and I harbor a quiet obsession with foreign languages and writing systems. I will correct your grammar but, because I am the product of a Southern upbringing, I will likely address you as “Sir” or “Ma’am” while doing so. I initially began this business in Laguna Beach but have been on the move over the past year or so. The gamut of change has definitely been run over these past two years. If nothing else, I've at least learned that life has an exquisitely beautiful sense of humor. I currently live in Northern California - a place I have always wanted to live but never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever be. Now, after a lifetime of planting my feet everywhere else on the planet, here I am. I am currently a resident of Sonoma County, a place that was recently decimated by the 2017 North Bay wildfires. I am currently car-less because my tiny Honda was totalled by a Napa fire truck (and crew?) that had an accident on its way to keep the county from burning down. I am now the owner of a very squeaky (but useful) bicycle my fellow Dr. Who fans have named "Tardis". I no longer need a gym membership, require car insurance, or pay for gas, although my Nutella consumption has gone up ten-fold for some odd reason... :-)